We have very poor insulation in our home.  It gets super cold during the winter and super hot during the summer.  Two awful extremes.  Unfortunately, we don’t have central AC, and the estimates we’ve gotten have been $10k and up to get it installed.  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

When the first week of summer rolled around, it was over 90 degrees and was miserably hot inside our home!  I ended up shaving half of my head to help cool off and insisted that my husband install window AC units in both our living room and bedroom.

This was  a much more affordable solution for us, costing about $250 per unit.  Sure, a window AC can be a bit of an eye sore, but so is a bill that’s over $10k!  So my husband and I were determined to install the units as nice as we can get it.

Since we have horizontal sliding windows, it was a bit of a challenge to install the units with proper support and security.  Luckily, my handy husband knew exactly what to do.  That’s why I married him!


1)   Measure the dimensions of your window and AC unit.  Create a wooden frame for it with 2″ x 3″ studs cut to size.  Be sure to account for any legs or protruding sides on the AC.Installing A Window AC

2)  Paint the frame so it matches your window moldings, and let it dry over night.Sliding Window AC Frame

3)  Secure the frame with screws.  Then, place the AC unit into the bottom half of the frame.Installing A Sliding Window AC Frame

4)  Cut strips of plywood to fill in the sides on the outside.  This also adds extra support on the bottom of the AC unit.Installing A Sliding Window AC Unit

5)  Measure and cut plywood to cover the top half opening of the frame.  Screw it in from the outside of the house.  We used star screws to make it more secure.  If security is a major concern, you can cover the inside with plywood as well.

Installing A Window AC Unit

Here’s a front and back view of both AC units.Window AC Unit

6)  Time for the fun part!  Tape off the edge of the plywood facing the inside of the house, and paint it with chalk paint.  They have several colors at Michaels; I chose grey.  Apply two coats, allowing one hour to dry in between coats.  Then, write whatever you want on it with chalk.  I decided to write “let’s enjoy” in the living room and “let’s dream” in our bedroom.Chalk Paint Window ACChalk Paint Window AC Unit

7) Measure the length and width of the remaining window, and purchase blinds from Home Depot.  Let them know the dimensions you need, and they will cut it to size for you.  We spent about $20 for each window.

Here’s our living room unit.Installing A Window AC With Style

Here’s our bedroom unit.Installing A Window AC With Style

I love how it turned out!  I don’t think it’s an eye sore, and it saved us $10k!  Winner winner!

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